Nice is the seventh most populous urban area in France and the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department. It is located on the south east coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, at the foot of the Alps. The area of today’s Nice contains Terra Amata, an archaeological site which displays evidence of a very early use of fire 380,000 years ago.
About Nice in brief
Nice is the seventh most populous urban area in France and the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department. It is located on the south east coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, at the foot of the Alps. The area of today’s Nice contains Terra Amata, an archaeological site which displays evidence of a very early use of fire 380,000 years ago. Around 350 BC, Greeks of Marseille founded a permanent settlement and called it Nikaia, after Nike, the goddess of victory. The natural environment of the Nice area and its mild Mediterranean climate came to the attention of the English upper classes in the second half of the 18th century. The clear air and soft light have particularly appealed to notable painters, such as Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Niki de Saint Phalle and Arman. The city is nicknamed Nice la Belle, which means Nice the Beautiful, which is also the title of the unofficial anthem of Nice, written by Menica Rondelly in 1912. Nice’s appeal extended to the Russian upper classes, Prince Nicholas Alexandrovich, heir apparent to Imperial Russia died in Nice and was a patron of the Russian Orthodox Cemetery, Nice where Princess Catherine Dolgorukova, morganatic wife of the Tsar Alexander II of Russia, is buried. The Phantom of the Opera author Gaston Leroux, French prime minister Léon Gambetta, and the first president of the International Court of Justice José Gustavo Guerrero are also buried in Nice.
Nice has the second largest hotel capacity in the country and it is one of its most visited cities, receiving 4.million tourists every year. It also has the third busiest airport in France, after the Parisian ones; the first known homid settlements in the area date back about 400,00 years; the second is Ligurian. It was probably founded around 350 BC by the Greeks Phoceans of Phocaea in Anatolia, and was given the name of Nikaian, in honour of a victory over the neighbouring Liguranians. It soon became one of the busiest trading ports on the coast; it was one of France’s busiest ports in the 19th century, but it is now the second-largest city in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region after Marseille. Nice is approximately 13 kilometres from the principality of Monaco and 30 kilometres from the French-Italian border. The main seaside promenade, the Promenade des Anglais, was inaugurated by Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, and owes its name to visitors to the resort. These included Queen Victoria along with her son Edward VII who spent winters there, and Nice born Henry Cavendish, who discovered hydrogen. Nice was part of France between 1792 and 1815, when it was returned to the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia until its re-annexation by France in 1860.